James Merrill

1926–1995
James Merrill
The affluence of James Merrill's background—his father was a founder of the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch—allowed him a lifetime of leisure in which to travel, refine his sensibility and polish his poetic technique. The result is a body of careful work dazzling in its variety, wit, and inventiveness. Invariably sparkling on its surface, his poetry also has its depths and shadows, for Merrill suffered his share of heartbreak and loss. Among his most notable achievements is The Changing Light at Sandover, a multipart epic that uses a ouija board as a modern-day oracle.

Poems

What People are Saying

"POL has opened my mind to many kinds of poetry. Before competing, my experience with poetry was limited to Dr. Seuss. I now find myself making literary references, having analytical conversations with my peers and mentors about poetry, and recalling poems throughout my day."
Mikayla Bates
2016 UT POL Champion